Budding young sports stars at Gateshead College’s Academy for Sport have seen their college achieve the prestigious British Colleges Sport (BCS) ‘College of the Year’ while it became one of only 10 colleges in the country to be awarded Focus College status by the FA for its commitment to football development provision.
Students made history by becoming the first in the UK to receive coaching and mentoring from double Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes through her Kelly Holmes Education programme.
The initiative, which will continue into 2013, includes circuit training with Dame Kelly and training and competition tips in addition to nutrition, social media and media interview technique sessions.
The college’s own football coach and former student, Jill Scott, went down in the history books as one of the women picked to represent her country in England Women’s first ever Olympic football squad. She helped the team to get to the quarter final stage, scoring against Cameroon in the second group match to cap a memorable performance.
Lewis Pendleton, sports academy manager at Gateshead College, said: “England has enjoyed a fantastic year of sport and we feel that the success has really been felt and experienced right through the college too.
“We’ve had an amazing year with some excellent achievements for students, both individually and for our sports teams. The Academy for Sport has been a real hub of activity with students benefitting from some once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as meeting and being coached by Dame Kelly Holmes and Olympic gold medallist boxer Nicola Adams.”
The Boxing Academy students were privileged to train alongside the Colombian Olympic boxing team, who visited the college in the run-up to the Games to use its training facilities. After the Games, Nicola Adams brought her Olympic Gold Medal to show the student boxers and delivered a training session.
Gateshead College’s Football Development Centre students scored with another extremely successful season. It was the first year that the college team made up the Gateshead FC youth squad capping the season by winning the FA Youth Alliance League.
They were the only team in the league formed entirely from a college football squad and only saw their first FA Youth Cup run come to an end when they went down 4 – 0 to Derby County at Pride Park Stadium in the third round earlier this month.
Head football coach at Gateshead College, Paul Bryson, is also celebrating as he will be taking up a new position coaching the national England Colleges U19 squad, a role which will run alongside his college work.
This will see him coaching a couple of familiar faces as Gateshead College’s Dan Taggart and Mark Brereton have been picked to join the squad. James McGregor, Jack Gurr and Rob Harding were all selected to join the England Colleges U17s.
Former student Sam Guthrie is also eyeing up a bright future in the game as he has joined Championship club, Huddersfield Town.
Students from the Women’s Football Development Centre have seen success after scoring top place in the BCS Elite League and BCS National Cup. They were also finalists in the English Schools U18 Cup and finished runners-up in the North East regional college league.
A new Judo Academy, the first of its kind in the North East, was launched in 2012 and the college recruited former Olympian and five times European medallist Chloe Cowan to head it up.
In netball, head coach Julie Kimber scored after being selected to take up the role of British Colleges’ head netball coach while the college’s Basketball Academy coach, Ian Macleod, added to his coaching credentials as he took the reins at England U15s.
Academy of Sport students work with coaches to perfect their sporting skills whilst gaining academic and coaching qualifications, all in an environment which inspires them to achieve great success. The college has academies in men’s and women’s football, rugby, golf, netball, basketball, athletics, cricket, boxing, swimming, judo and rowing.